Now *That* Was a Viral Video

A quick update on that amazing GetUp! marriage equality video: At the time of my post (Friday – video was 1 day old) the YouTube view count was around 229,000. Today, almost one full week from when the video first appeared on YouTube, it’s been seen more than 2.6 million times! I’ve always thought it was interesting to go back to videos I’ve liked a week or month later and see how they’ve done or who’s been watching. Imagine a scientist being able to look at not only a virus, but all the people that have ever encountered that virus – well that’s possible with internet analytics.

I’ve attached a screenshot of the YouTube stats, along with the known demographics for viewers. Amazing to see Russia be such a major viewer, but then again one of the genius elements to that video was how unimportant language was, therefore making it much more universal internationally (race and ethnicity aside, anyway). And you can see here how Reddit and Gawker were likely instrumental in giving it a good push that first day, especially in America, but then Twitter and especially Facebook started to play a larger role as people shared it around. Then The Advocate ran it the next day and eventually accounted for almost a quarter of the total traffic. And look at how many mobile viewers there have been: 670,000+!

The Advocate has also done an interview with GetUp!’s Paul Mackay to get the story behind the video and their campaign. Here are a few answers from that interview, which everyone should also read in full.

From It’s Time: The Making of a Viral Video Love Story (The Advocate):

What are some of the more surprising messages you’ve received?

While we made the video to build public support and in turn place pressure on political leaders, some of the more immediate positive change we’ve been told about has been the most surprising and the most humbling. One of my favorites so far was an email from a young woman. She described the ad as “beautiful” and said it reduced her to tears. She showed her parents the video and said it completely changed her father’s perspective on homosexuality, to the point that he now understands. The woman said she and her girlfriend now had the courage to come out to him about their relationship, and I was quite touched to read that. There have been others too, suggesting they will take the leap out of the closet having thought the video portrayed gay as “normal” and gave them confidence.

Do you think this type of campaign could be applied in the United States?

I think if anything, the international attention the video has received shows it’s a style of campaign that could work anywhere in the world. We’ve already been reached out to by groups right across the globe, including the U.S., who want to either take the video or reproduce it with their own local landmarks. I think the campaign could be applied anywhere due to its universal nature. Put simply, the point we’re making with the video is that love is equal and we should allow people in loving relationships to have that love recognized with the highest institution our society offers. This point certainly holds true in the U.S.

All in all I’d call this a textbook case study for how to design, produce, and execute a viral video advocacy project.




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  1. Brian

    Hey Chas, is that the normal shape of the graph for a link gone viral? The comments and favorites graphs show parabolic progression. But the graph of the views is remarkably straight. I would expect a more dramatic shape. Where do you think the curve will go next?


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